In the car and on the road. On our way for a few days in San Diego. It will be wonderful! We have some generous friends who graciously offer their home to us when they travel, which is such a blessing. As you can see, my commitment to this book and blog are pretty strong – even in the car. I am nearing the end of Waking the Dead and am beginning to feel a little sad. I am savoring every word and going back to the beginning and middle and rereading things that have stuck in my mind and heart. There are ideas and thoughts in this book, of John’s, that I want to become a part of me, to settle in my heart.
The part I read last night spoke of fellowships. It’s not a word I had thought much about. John says about this idea, “You can do some study till you’re blue in the face, and it won’t heal the broken-hearted or set the captives free. We come; we learn; we leave. It is not enough. Those hearts remain buried, broken, untouched, unknown…It is knowing that you are at war, that God has chosen you and evil is hunting you, and so a fellowship like Frodo’s must protect you.”
I have a wonderful group of friends. There are six of us and we have gone through everything – births, deaths, mental illness, divorce, and all of the other real life, gut wrenching things that can happen over thirteen years to six very different families. There is such love and commitment to our whole group. We’ve vacationed together, driven across the country together, had large family dinners, and our children even enjoy being together. Bonus! The blessing in all of this is that we have formed a fellowship. We know and remember what each of us has been through. Later, in the chapter, John says more about fellowships, “The Enemy hates this sort of thing; for he knows how powerful it can be, for God and his kingdom. For our hearts. Remember divide and conquer?” One of the lessons I got from AA is that isolation brings on desperation. We will fill that desperation with whatever happens to be handy and it’s generally not something good since the feeling of desperation doesn’t really make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
We need fellowships to get through this life. Satan knows this also, which means he is going to fight us at every turn. At the end of the chapter John continues with this idea saying, “A true community is something you’ll have to fight for. You’ll have to fight to get one, and you’ll have to fight to keep it afloat. But you fight for it as you bail out a life raft during a storm at sea. You want this thing to work. You need this thing to work. You can’t ditch it and jump back on the cruise ship. This is the church; this is all you have. Without it, you’ll go down. Or back to captivity…There are no other options.” That is how I feel about my friends. As challenging as it is for me to let down my guard and to hope and pray that my friends really do like me and it’s not just some pity friendship (yep, that’s Satan right there hitting me right where it hurts the most). I know that I need these women in my life. I learn new things from them all the time and I am constantly amazed by their strength and faith.
I hope that you have also found a fellowship and, if not, I challenge you to prayerfully seek those people out. You need them and they need you.